Guest Contributor: Lisa Fimberg, Owner www.PetPav.com
If you are looking to adopt or bring home a rabbit, it is important to understand that rabbits are not much different than dogs and cats. They need a lot of care, love, attention and guidance. Think of a rabbit as a high-maintenance pet! You will need to watch your rabbit, feed him or her the correct kind of food and schedule play time with your rabbit friend!
Rabbits are curious pets
Your rabbit is a curious, tenacious and mischievous pet and can be a challenge at times. Don’t put it past your rabbit to tear up your carpet or chew up your couches. They usually enjoy racing around open spaces. Your rabbit likes to throws objects and climb on things to see the view from the top, just like a kitten! At the same time, your rabbit enjoys company very much - and he's an excellent communicator.
Watch and learn their body language
Your rabbit usually makes a lot of different movements and sounds, but you must pay very close attention to hear them. Rabbits also use body language as well as more blatant signals such as the characteristic thump, thump that signals danger or anxiety or that he or she is scared!
Rabbits need attention and play time
Rabbits that are accepted and understood are happy rabbits. Paying attention so you get to know your rabbit and spending time playing with him leads to a healthy relationship. Your rabbit may follow you around the house more faithfully than your dog; he may sit beside you watching television or make a purr like sound as if he is a cat. And yes, he will play - with you or with almost anything that he can find.
Rabbits love to play
Rabbits are naturally curious and playful. Chewing is not only something they do, but also something they enjoy, and chew toys are always a favorite treat. Your rabbit will also enjoy toys that he can push or toss around. Toilet paper or paper towel rolls are easy, inexpensive toys, as are all-natural wood blocks. Make sure to play with your rabbit as you would your dog or cat.
Make sure to purchase safe toys for your rabbit
You can purchase pet-safe cat or bird toys, balls with bells inside and stuffed animals, noisemakers and a wide range of other items that will keep your rabbit fascinated. But be careful to ensure that the toys are not dangerous. Make sure the toys are durable because your rabbit will try to eat them as well as play with them. Provide him with an assortment of toys that have no small parts, toxic materials or choking hazards.
Rabbits don't care how much you spend on toys or even that you made them. They just need the mental stimulation that playing with toys provides. But you will need to be innovative to keep your rabbit happily occupied. Rabbits can get bored with their old toys, and a bored rabbit can become excessively destructive or even aggressive (just like a puppy!)
Make sure that your rabbit gets exercise
Rabbits need things to crawl under and over, climb on and hop off of, dig into and chew on. Anything made of wood will eventually be consumed. Let your rabbit out of his cage and run around your home. They love to get out and join you or your family. A tired rabbit is a less destructive rabbit so make sure to give him plenty of exercise.
Reward your rabbit’s good behavior
The key to a having well-behaved rabbit is distraction with toys and food and rewards. Similar to a dog or cat, you need to provide your rabbit with a clean home (cage) food, attention, and love. When your rabbit plays with the correct toy or does something fun or friendly, reward your cat with love and a treat.
Rabbits are great pets! But, don’t be mistaken, they need love, exercise and play time to keep them happy and healthy.